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When studying, collecting or simply appreciating the F-S Fighting Knife, it is almost impossible to not develop an interest in the men that lent their names to this iconic edged weapon. Within the communities of martial arts, combat pistol shooting and knife fighting, William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Pioneers in their day, much of their legacy is now sadly overlooked and long forgotten. Those of us who have studied martial techniques be it shooting, knife fighting or self-defense, or indeed the developmental history of these pursuits, soon learn that the contribution of these gentlemen is not only significant but quite profound.
Ltd, it could be assumed that this is the precursor to his first book below published in As Fairbairn was a student of Jujuitsu the precursor of Judo , it is possibly that he decided to marry the two words to reflect his new style. Fairbairn is also known to have visited Britain in an attempt to gain acceptance by various UK Police Forces but was unsuccessful. As stated this is an incredibly rare book and only a handful of copies are known to exist. In Defendu was re-published by D.
Still hardbound but this time in red, it did have a dust jacket that depicted photographic images contained in the book. With pages the content was almost identical with just minor changes and additions.
This edition of Scientific Self-Defence, in kind with its predecessor Defendu , is still extremely difficult to find. The example shown is complete with dust jacket. The outbreak of the Second World War added an increased emphasis on all things combative. This was expressed in a co-authored book and the only known book with Sykes named as author. A book way ahead of its time. The adjacent official marking indicates original ownership and issue by the S. In we see published what is in my opinion the most significant book in respect to the collector of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife.
As can be seen from the cover the victor is dressed in British battledress where as the vanquished is obviously a German soldier. This theme is continued throughout the book. The book itself is hardbound with an economy paper dust jacket, common to that wartime period. One of the interesting aspects of All-In Fighting that makes it such essential reading for anyone studying the F-S knife or indeed any Commando-related topic is the use of weapons throughout the book.
Of course the Fairbairn-Sykes knife is well represented and it is clearly shown as the original First Pattern design by Wilkinson. Aside from this there is also demonstrated the use of the Smatchet, a large machete-style knife with a leaf-shaped blade which was also designed by Fairbairn. The use of the Enfield rifle has its own section and also the Luger makes an appearance for the Axis side. Page 99 showing the vital places one can use to disable an aggressor with the F-S Fighting Knife.
Fairbairn clearly had a deep understanding of anatomy and the impact the right blade would have. The most prolific book to be found and indeed still published today is the American version of All-In Fighting.
I have seen this book in over twenty WWII printings but the original first edition is still quite scarce and often confused with a later printing. As mentioned Get Tough went on to be produced in many subsequent printings but all those that followed had one notable change. The image adjacent clearly shows this difference; the bottom book is a first edition and first printing, showing his rank as Capt.
Captain whereas the top book a later printing shows the rank of Major. One interesting and extremely scarce printing of Get Tough is the little known Australian version. It appears that there was only one printing of this Australian issue as no other subsequent printings have been noted. The other change is that the dust jacket is permanently attached and not a true dust jacket. An example of this forward-thinking mindset can be seen in one of the earliest known books on ladies self-defense.
With only 48 pages and showing carefully chosen but practical techniques, this groundbreaking book is almost never seen. Appleton - Century Company New York With just 41 pages the content is identical but the quality of printing was much improved. The copy shown at right is complete with its original dust jacket. Although not written by Fairbairn or Sykes, I have come across the occasional period publication that for one reason or another holds a related interest and will share them here.
Please feel free to contact me if you have or know of other literary items that may add to our knowledge.
These additions can certainly be fun but also add some historical perspective and for that alone are invaluable. The manual is quite an in-depth and interesting work on the care and use of pigeons in the military. As fascinating as the topic is, the real story here is that the original owner has written his details on the front cover and the owner is none other than William Ewart Fairbairn! War touches every corner of a society and children are no exception. The dramatics of war clearly provided more than enough raw material for writers.
The talents of W. Fairbairn made for good material as this two-page comic strip tells of his Get Tough training. Lighthearted as it may have been to portray Fairbairn in this way top left but he had a reputation as a hard man and the caption from the thug was no doubt poignant.
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William E. Fairbairn
Discussion in ' Misc. Knife Arts ' started by jckailatstudent , May 18, Log in or Sign up. Does anyone know any specifics on W. Fairbairn's knife fighting methods?
ww2 Fairbairn knife fighting
When studying, collecting or simply appreciating the F-S Fighting Knife, it is almost impossible to not develop an interest in the men that lent their names to this iconic edged weapon. Within the communities of martial arts, combat pistol shooting and knife fighting, William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Pioneers in their day, much of their legacy is now sadly overlooked and long forgotten. Those of us who have studied martial techniques be it shooting, knife fighting or self-defense, or indeed the developmental history of these pursuits, soon learn that the contribution of these gentlemen is not only significant but quite profound. Ltd, it could be assumed that this is the precursor to his first book below published in
The Fairbairn Manual Of Knife Fighting William Cassidy
He developed hand-to-hand combat methods for the Shanghai Police during the interwar period , as well as for the allied special forces during World War II. He created his own fighting system known as Defendu. Notably, this included innovative pistol shooting techniques and the development of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife. The television series Secrets of War suggested him as a possible inspiration for Q branch in James Bond. He served in one of the red light districts.